A preparative small-scale production of non-protein amino acids was established in 2007 with the financial support of the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC). As a result of scientific research, a universal technology has been developed that enables to obtain important and expensive enantiomerically pure non-protein α-amino acids (market price of 1g is 150-400 USD) of different structure from low cost natural amino acids glycine and D,L-alanine (price of 1kg is about 10 USD). More than 200 undescribed in the literature new amino acids containing aliphatic, aromatic and heterocyclic substituents in the side chain have been synthesized by the developed technology.
As irreversible inhibitors of enzymes, non-protein amino acids are of great interest in pharmacy, medicine, science and technology. Today, there are numerous well-known antitumor, antiviral, antihypertensive and other drug preparations, the pharmacologically active aglycon of which is a non-protein amino acid or its derivative.
As chiral compounds, non-protein amino acids are only suitable for use as optically pure stereoisomers. There are many cases when the optical antipode of a pharmacologically active drug has a negative pharmacological effect, or at best remains neutral. Therefore, for the production of such compounds it is necessary to develop methods that will ensure optical stereoselective high enantiomeric purity. The technology of asymmetric synthesis developed at the Scientific and Production Center “Armbiotechnology” of NAS RA enables to obtain amino acids with enantiomeric excess (ee) over 98% irrespective of structure and degree of chirality. To determine the structure and absolute configuration of the synthesized new amino acids, modern physicochemical methods such as 1H and 13C NMR, chiral HPLC and GLC, LC-MS, elemental analysis, polarimetric measurements, etc. are applied.
A small production line of non-protein amino acids has been introduced in the Center and about 13 enantiomerically pure non-protein amino acids are produced and sold on a contractual basis. The main customers are Belgian ACROSS Organics and German IRIS Biotech GmbH.
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